Julie, my long-lost high school friend, flew in from New Mexico this weekend. Her visit tops any Christmas wish I could have imagined. We bond with childhood friends in ways mysterious and elusive to adults. In adolescence, Julie and I shared tender, sometimes raw moments as well as breath-gasping giddiness. Saturday and Sunday, we toured Tampa and Ybor City, the historic hispanic district. We ate superb Spanish cuisine, spotted herds of eclectic Santas and elves flocking to nightime events and fascinating wildlife at a local preserve, but nothing matched the stroll down memory lane.
At one point, Julie pointed to a group of young women huddling for a group photo and she said, "that was about the age we were when we saw each other last." I had deeply regretted losing touch with her and wondered where life had taken her. When we finally reconnected a few years ago, I discovered her path and mine divurged in many ways, except one: We shared a passion for writing. During her visit, the conversation often drifted to our stories. Julie is studying the craft at Sante Fe Community College and thanks to the internet, we trade work and offer each other feedback. It's incredible that our desire to learn the craft occured at the same time. Then again, our creativity was part of what bonded us in childhood. Julie is a master storyteller and I can't wait to see what she does with her talent.
It was hard to say good-bye to Julie. But I feel certain we treasure the renewed bond enough to stay connected and now that we've talked about our writing in person, we're even more motivated to encourage each other's efforts. Here are a few photos from our trip to Lettuce Lake Park . . . new memories, sure to become fodder for fiction.
I write middle grade and young adult books with a magical twist. And creatures, always creatures. I'm represented by the fabulous Leslie Zampetti of Dunham Lit.
Baggott, Asher & Bode
Rear in Gear
Kate DiCamillo on Writing